The essay film is said to be defined by its exact 'undefinableness'—and its taking pleasure in that. Timothy Corrigan's The Essay Film: From Montaigne to Marker acknowledges that this form plays between fact and fiction, between documentary and the experimental, and non-narrative and narrative forms. Roland Barthes said the essayistic feeds knowledge, "into the machinery of infinite reflexivity."
So these films are also very personal, and said to demonstrate a crucial link between subjectivity, or the self, and the public domain, a public expression.
Most interesting, the essay film also illuminates a unique engagement between the verbal and the visual. To some extent, his form is said to find its origin in the posse of the Left Bank Group of the French New Wave—a gang of cinephiles who had a specific preoccupation with associating cinema to literary and other legitimised arts in Paris, in the late 50s-60s.
In this tradition, my short essay film 'BLUE' was also a personal film because essays are subjective, and the film would be my exploration of the idea of the colour blue. An excerpt from the production period making 'BLUE':
'I think it’s important that the process of making this film will be quite essayistic in itself. When writing an essay, I tend to read widely and voraciously, arm myself with knowledge, and only with that knowledge can I narrow my field of discussion to the task at hand with discernment. The subjective nature of choosing what to include and exclude in an essay is like that of the editing process – arbitrary choices can only prove a lack of research or knowledge on the writer’s behalf.